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Macklemore, Roomful of Teeth Grammys Remind the Music Industry that Indie Artists are Contenders

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Jan 28, 2014 02:12 PM EST

In a recent post here on Classicalite, I discussed the terms and implications of maintaining "relevance" in an unforgiving world--where "irrelevance" may be considered the proverbial "curtain call."

The Grammys two nights ago, though, showcased myriad talent from one end of the relevant spectrum to the other--and yet it wasn't just Robin Thicke talking about blurred lines.

No. The 56th annual Grammys marked a shift in the realm of popular music from mainstream artists--in this case, those signed to a major label--to indies.

For the first time, 50% of the awards were given to artists on majors, and the other half to those signed either to an indie label, boutique label or a label of their own. For artists like Macklemore and his producer-cum-engineer-cum-friend Ryan Lewis and Vampire Weekend, the Grammys yielded a nominal "ton" in winnings.

According to A2IM, an indie trade label group that has been tracking the awards since 2006, 199 of the 398 nominations were doled out to independent artists.

Concord Music Group--an all-around active label with various genres including jazz, pop, soul and classical--took home six awards, the most an indie label brought in that night.

So, while the lines separating "relevant" and "irrelevant" seem to blur further, we try to sober up on the thought that perhaps real music bleeds through the cracks and solidifies on the other side of the wall, making it next in the inevitable leap from one side of music to the other.

And without further wait, here is Macklemore's sermonizing "Same Love," which made history on its own.

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TagsVampire Weekend, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Concord Music Group, A2IM, Robin Thicke, Same Love, The Grammys, Grammys 2014, Caroline Shaw, Roomful of Teeth